Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Fun Serious "Debate"

Robert Reich debates with himself in a "right" versus "wrong" version of the US debate over the economy, deficits, and tax cuts:

The point is serious, but having watched Robert Reich give interviews and lectures, this was a fanciful fun alternative way to get his message out.

This isn't in the video, it is in another post, but this is Robert Reich's prescription for America:
Here are the ten components I’d recommend (apologies to those of you who have read some of these before):

1. Exempt first $20K of income from payroll taxes for two years. Make up shortfall by raising ceiling on income subject to payroll taxes.

2. Recreate the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps to put long-term unemployed directly to work.

3. Create an infrastructure bank authorized to borrow $300 billion a year to repair and upgrade the nation’s roads, bridges, ports, airports, school buildings, and water and sewer systems.

4. Amend bankruptcy laws to allow distressed homeowners to declare bankruptcy on their primary residence, so they can reorganize their mortgage loans.

5. Allow distressed homeowners to sell a portion of their mortgages to the FHA, which would take a proportionate share of any upside gains when the homes are sold.

6. Provide tax incentive to employers who create net new jobs ($2,500 deduction for every net new job created).

7. Make low-interest loans to cash-starved states and cities, so they don’t have to lay off teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and reduce other critical public services.

8. Provide partial unemployment benefits to people who have lost part-time jobs.

9. Enlarge and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit – a wage subsidy for low-wage work.

10. Impose a “severance fee” on any large business that lays off an American worker and outsources the job abroad.

Some of these won’t cost the federal government money. Others will be costly in the short term but lead to faster growth.

Remember: Faster growth means a more manageable debt in the long term. Which means the President could tie this (or any other jobs bill of similar magnitude) to an even more ambitious long-term debt-reduction plan than he’s already proposed.
Somebody needs to set a fire under Obama to force him to move, get out front, and lead.

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